Posted in Around Town

Blair HS, Pasadena

I’m not usually one to post breaking news, especially when I’m out of town (and I’m way out—with limited Interwebs access). But I just happened to catch this at Metroblogging LA (thanks David) and thought I’d post in case you hadn’t heard…Blair HS is in lockdown due to reports of a gun on campus. Continue reading “Blair HS, Pasadena”

Posted in Current Events, Let's Get Visual

Visual Artists Guild

I’d never really heard of the Visual Artists Guild until the summer of 2007, when reps showed up at Pasadena City Council meetings to protest the Beijing Olympics float in the Rose Parade. I just got an e-mail from Ann Lau telling me that I won the photo contest.

rp2 protestor

I think the t-shirt looks great worn over my Pasadena Bulldogs hoodie.

My brother says, “The camera always lies.” Very true.

Some disclaimers about my photo: Since I was the one to submit the photo, I’m the “winner” but The Scout took it. He used my point and shoot digital, which he loathes (he’s a Nikon F2 with old-fashioned film guy). The Scout loathes flash as well, but in this case the flash makes the handcuffs more visible. Also, you will notice that there is no parade going by. That’s because we took the photo before the parade started. It was just easier that way.

Rose Parade 2008 posts: Part 1. Part deux.

Posted in Around Town

YD&VPC: I’m Just Sayin’…

The City of Pasadena’s Youth Development and Violence Prevention Committee has wisely morphed its name into something other than YAC. I haven’t been attending the meetings, but I have watched a few on dear old K-PAS 55. The YD&VPC is meeting tonight, but I have a conflict so I won’t be there.

Five months into the issue, how is the YD&VPC articulating its mission and purpose? As a casual observer, it looks like the YD&YPC is trying to (1) Keep at-risk kids out of risky situations (prevention); and (2) Reach the kids who have already decided that guns and gangs may be a viable alternative. Will the youth in each of these categories benefit from the same kind of programs, or does that second group need something different? Should the YD&VPC focus on that harder-to-reach second group?

Some random thoughts:

Posted in Friends, My Stuff

Die Tuesday Morgan Blaus

The Tuesday morning after a three-day weekend is just a Tuesday hiding in Monday’s clothing. I don’t know about you, but all week long I’ll be confused about what day it is. I will be inconsistently incorrect—sometimes a day late, sometimes a day early. If you see me on Thursday, I will swear to you it is Friday. Thursday will feel like Friday when it should feel like Wednesday.

I’m losing a friend to France this week. Well, she is French, so they had her first. She’s moving back, and though we will keep in touch via e-mail it won’t be the same. Not only am I saying au revoir et bon chance, I’m picking her up from Redondo Beach, having ‘the last lunch’ with her and taking her to LAX. Yeah, I’m going whole-hog with the saying good-bye business.

N and friend

My friend N and l’objet de nature she found on the plage.

Sooo—my word for today is verklempt. It’s a lovely word, put to good use by Linda Richman on Saturday Night Live (that link is to Barbra Streisand’s surprise appearance on SNL). Linda would become verklempt on the show and need a moment to recover. She would then toss out a topic and say “Talk amongst yourselves.”

Here are some examples (thanks Wikipedia):

“The radical reconstruction of the South after the Civil War was neither radical nor a reconstruction. Discuss.”

“The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss.”

“Ralph Fiennes is spelled neither rafe nor fines. Discuss.”

“Rhode Island is neither a road nor is it an island. Discuss.”

“The Progressive Era was neither progressive nor an era. Discuss.”

“Did Truman drop the bomb on the Japanese to end the war or to scare the hell out of the Russians? Discuss.”

Linda Richman

I love you, Linda, but verklempt has a life of its own and must not rest with you in the annals of SNL history. Women the world over need this word. Lassen sie mein Wort!  (That’s just German, not Yiddish.)

In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves about AP’s term limits idea.

Oh, and while I’m on about things Yiddish: Did you hear Jon Stewart say (Linda Richman-style), “So who do you want? The schwarze oder shiksa?”

Finally, a Yiddish proverb: Besser ain alter freint vi a nei’eh svai. “One old friend is better than two new ones.”

Posted in Around Town, Let's Get Visual

How to be Invisible

It’s easy. Stand at a bus stop. People who know you will drive right past you. They don’t expect to see you at a bus stop, so they don’t.

Here’s the view from one of my bus stops (on Lincoln Avenue).  Now that I’ve been riding the bus a bit more, I notice the sound of buses all the time—even if I’m not waiting to get on one. The whirr-roar of the diesel engine. When you’re standing invisible at a bus stop, that sound is music.


Posted in Cool Stuff

Was (Not Was) 2

I have unabashed love and enthusiasm for music.

I have unabashed love and enthusiasm for Was (Not Was). Who was the chick dancing by herself at the concert? Moi, of course. Join me people, join me. This stuff is too good to miss.

Lovely review by Ann Powers of the concert in today’s Los Angeles Times. The article even uses the words I chose in my previous post…”mash-up.” I used it to describe the line-up of artists, but Powers uses it to describe Was (Not Was):

“Was (Not Was), like Detroit, is an endearing mess,” Creem editor Brian J. Bowe wrote in 2004. More of a mash-up than a mess, I’d say. It resurfaced like a beautiful mirage at this Valentine’s Day party, which also featured guest artists Kris Kristofferson and Brian Wilson broadening the map from Nashville to California.

Wanna have some fun? Go to the Was (Not Was) MySpace page and have a listen. Check out “I Feel Better Than James Brown.” (NB: not for you faint hearted romantics)

Hey kids–the new album “Boo!” drops (love that lingo) on April 8.

Need more persuading? From

Shattering the imaginary divisions between “black music” and “white music,” Detroiters David (Weiss; sax, flute, keyboards, vocals) and Don (Fagenson; bass, keyboards, guitar) Was use undated soul and funk as a flexible backdrop for their alternately serious and sarcastic commentary. The historical problem with a lot of dance music has been its rabid dissociation from intellect; more than almost any other group, Was (Not Was) obliterates that gap.

Was (not Was) – Earth to Doris/Robot Girl

Posted in Books, Cool Stuff

Spy in the House of Love

Was (Not Was) – Spy In The House Of Love

Jeffrey Eugenides was on NPR yesterday talking about the book he edited, My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro. I’ve leafed through this hefty tome at the bookstore and it looks fantastic. At the end of the interview, he mentioned that he and his wife do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. He referred to the day as the cheapening and commoditization of romance. When one is in love, one can celebrate the romantic aspects of that on any day, in any fashion (picnic springs to mind for me).

I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Eugenides, but I also appreciate an excuse to do something fun. So tonight, The Scout and I are going to The Orpheum to see Was (Not Was), Brian Wilson (yes, the Beach Boy) and Kris Kristofferson. A most lovely mash-up of fantastic musicians. (Many thanks to Metroblogging L.A. for pointing this out, though I’m crestfallen that I didn’t win tickets.)

Posted in Around Town, Books, Let's Get Visual

Angeles Forest Highway

Big deadline today so no time to write. Haven’t seen any egregious graffiti lately. (Well, except on the billboard that is on top of the buildings on the east side of Lincoln Avenue between Wyoming and Montana–right above where Ebony Huel was killed. It’s had a scribbly black line of graffiti for some time (which I reported to the graffiti people…nothing happened), and now someone has gotten up there and done some big yellow letters. The whole thing is peeling from the left side, so I expect it to be removed any day. Or am I being overly optimistic? I guess I need to call again…)

Trying to read Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes, the pick for the City of Pasadena’s One City One Story. It’s well written but a tad erudite for me—quite academic and a bit showy. Or maybe that’s what I think about the City of Pasadena and I’m projecting that onto the book. Is anyone else reading it?

Angeles Forest Highway, courtesy of The Scout.